Cheyenne County Hospital, St. Francis, was selected as the "spotlight hospital" by the KHC in its State Snapshot report to the Hospital Research and Educational Trust (HRET) regarding the Hospital Engagement Network activities in Kansas. The report was submitted in October.
Cheyenne County Hospital was recognized in the report for successfully implementing a hard-stop policy that reduced the number and percentage of babies delivered prior to 39 weeks gestation, resulting in significant improvement in newborn outcomes. CCH is a 16-bed critical access hospital located in St. Francis (pop. 1,329) in northwest Kansas with the nearest NICU 180 miles away. Its obstetrics unit opened in 2007 and delivers between 20-30 babies annually. Hospital staff recognized increased complications in late-term infants delivered prior to 39 weeks (inductions/c-sections).
Steps to reduce complications included staff, patient, and provider education on American College of Obstetrics & Gynecology (ACOG) guidelines, adoption of obstetric standards of care, defined scope of practice, and C-section and Induction of Labor Analysis Form (screening for compliance with standards). In 2012, the policy was updated with non-medical induction reasons removed, and the hospital developed a process to ensure adherence to policy.
The successful education of patients begins during the pre-admission tour of the hospital, with the importance of going to 39 weeks stressed. In addition, the reduction in <39 week inductions has resulted in dramatic improvement in the outcomes for newborns.
In 2012, the hospital had 19 total deliveries, all at 39 weeks or greater, according to Shawna Blanka, director of quality and public relations. Overall, the hospital reduced their <39 week deliveries from 86.2 percent in 2010 to zero in 2012.
Pictured in photo at top is the Cheyenne County Hospital obstetrical team (standing from left): Rebecca Allard, MD; Brenda Hays, RN, BSN; Judy Rockwood, CEO/DON; Tammi Sherlock, RN; and Debbie Harris, RN. Seated are Sharissa Andrist and her son Tysson. Pictured at bottom is Candi Douthit, education coordinator and a member of the Cheyenne County Hospital obstetrical team.